Bathrooms As a Make Or Break Experience – Part II

In an article written a while ago, I expanded on how important the bathroom is for the overall guestroom experience. It’s such a personal, private space that any minor annoyances are especially hard to forgive because of their heightened impact on one’s emotional state of being. You simply need to browse through TripAdvisor or other third-party review site comments to see how vital it is to provide for a superior washroom experience.

Before diving into a whole new batch of grievances, let’s recap what was already covered:

  • Bathroom not properly cleaned
  • Not enough towels, floor mats or hand towels
  • Not enough hygiene products
  • Mold, rust, grime or other forms of deterioration
  • Poor lighting
  • Small mirrors
  • Cramped countertops
  • Perplexing showerheads and controls

With those already explained (or an explanation that should be fairly straightforward from the bullet points), let’s move on to several more that have cropped up over the last few months:

A towel too far
Bridging the grievance gap between having too few washcloths or floor mats is the annoyance of having to walking across cold tiles to reach the towel rack. Apart from the minor aggravation of getting chilly after escaping the proximity of the hot shower is the major concern over slipping on a wet floor. Even the thought of this danger is enough to cause distress.

Soaked toilet paper
You want towels to be within arms’ length of the shower door, but you definitely do not want tissues or toiler paper rolls to be within splash distance when the shower or bathtub is in use.

Who bathes anymore?
Speaking of bathtubs, who actually uses them anymore? Traditionally speaking, a bathtub is a necessary component of any domicile, but these times they are a-changin’. Especially with regard to business and younger leisure travelers, the bathtub apparatus is rarely in use relative to its shower counterpart. Unless you are catering to avid bathers, why have a bathtub at all? Dedicated or rain showers are much more comfortable for standing and will augment the cleansing experience for the majority of your guests.

Anticipate airport snafus
Given how much trouble it is to bring toiletries through airports these days, it’s all too easy for a guest to forget one or two essential items. Instead of stocking only the perfunctory shampoos, conditioners and soaps, why not supply other small disposables like toothpaste, dental floss, mouthwash, hair gel, nail polish remover or lip balm. You might even take this a step further and provide a small sample of your own branded fragrances (cologne and perfume so both sexes can sample).

Accessorize!
Outside of any extra disposables you provision, you might also want to consider offering the ‘hardware’. Start with a shaving kit, scissors and nail clippers, then move beyond blow-dryers and into fancy brushes, straightening irons or electric razors.

Private means private
In the previous article, I talked about difficult doors – ones that are a struggle to close or a struggle to stay closed. You must remember that bathrooms are the most private of all spaces and they should be respected as such. There shouldn’t be any windows or other semi-opaque opening onto the bedroom. Moreover, the door should be thick enough to partially block sounds, both those attempting to enter the bathroom and those trying to escape (think fans or any other flourishes of air).

The bathroom is a very tricky area to deal with because there is so little physical space to work with that everything must be placed in the precise position for it all to come together as a single pleasurable experience. You’re probably already doing most of this at least at a satisfactory level, but use these tips in combination with whatever crops up on your online guest reviews to decide where you can improve.

(Article published by Larry Mogelonsky in eHotelier on September 11, 2014)

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